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« More BBC balance | Main | Paterson stands by science »

Inside mathematics

The BBC's Inside Science programme looked at the Ship of Fools expedition yesterday. We were treated to the unedifying sound of presenter wondering about whether what he called "deniers'" views on sea ice extent in the Southern Hemisphere carried any weight. We were led to beleive that they did not. Normal BBC fare I hear you say.

Some of what was said was bizarre though. Interviewee Professor John Turner of the British Antarctic Survey said the rise in Antarctic sea ice extent was less than 1% and was therefore well within the bounds of natural variability. I have no problem with the second part of that statement, but 1% seemed very low to me. Here is the relevant graph from the Cryosphere Today website.

The Antactic sea ice has an annual mean of 9 million km2 or so and the current anomaly is 1.395. So we are at 14 or 15% above normal, not less than 1%. Am I missing something, or does Prof Turner have a problem with his mathematics?

The audio is attached below.

Inside Science

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Reader Comments (119)

There's now a transcript of this interview here:

Jan 10, 2014 at 9:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

Here is what IPCC AR5 SPM says:

"It is very likely that the annual mean Antarctic sea ice extent increased at a rate in the range of 1.2 to 1.8% per decade (range of 0.13 to 0.20 million km2 per decade) between 1979 and 2012."

So John Turner's claim of less than 1% is false.

Jan 10, 2014 at 9:33 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

That looks like a good opportunity to formally request an apology from the BBC, both for using the d-word and for distributing incorrect data?

Jan 10, 2014 at 9:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterDodgy Geezer

Good Luck with that!!

Jan 10, 2014 at 9:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterArthur Dent

If 1.395 million km^2 is 1% of the total, then the total sea ice would be 139.5 million km^2.

Obviously patent nonsense. Surely that obvious trivial mathematical sense check would have been suggested by a "maths" program on the BBC?

No? It wasn't??

Jan 10, 2014 at 9:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeckko

Andrew, you should know by now that it is the extent of summer sea ice that is all important to understanding global warming ;-) We are fast approaching the summer sea ice minimum in S hemisphere. I think one would be entitled to take current sea ice area of 5.5 million sq kms as the reference and deduce 1.4/(5.5-1.4) * 100 that summer sea ice is currently 34% more than datum. You should write to the BBC.

Totally off topic, this weeks offerings on Energy Matters:

The Primary Energy Tale of Two Continents
Correlated wind and incoherent energy policy

Jan 10, 2014 at 9:42 AM | Registered CommenterEuan Mearns

But of course the only relvant question is:

How have actual sea ice trends compared with IPCC, Alarmist model based, predicted changes.

Simply, in 2001 the IPCC predicted a 25%-40% reduction in Antarctic sea ice for a doubling of CO2. (see Assessment Report 3 Chapter 16)

So far, well down the road to our double (normally accepted to be c. 550 ppm) at 400 ppm CO2, the sea ice trend has been positive.

As a falsification test of their models and underlying theory, I reckon that leaves the current temperature "pause" for dead.

Jan 10, 2014 at 9:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeckko

It is the BBC after all so no chance of objective reporting.

Also from John Turner's page

"My group uses a wide range of data to study how the climate of the Antarctic has changed over the last 50 years and how it will change during the next century. We make extensive use of the output of the atmospheric models run by the UK Meteorological Office"

Clearly a fully paid up member of the Team. Anyone depending on grants will certainly be singing the same AGW hymn.

Jan 10, 2014 at 9:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterCharmingQuark

Who's that Antarctica "expert" in the program who said a lot of pure garbage before Turner, trying to argue it was an unforeseeable "cataclysmic event" and that the Akademik S was going to remain trapped for a long time?

The ship has been free since Jan 7th.

"Inside Science" is a total fail.

Jan 10, 2014 at 10:08 AM | Registered Commenteromnologos

Euan, I am not so sure the summer sea ice areal extent is all important to anything. Less sea ice at the end of the summer just means there will be much more heat loss to space from the open ocean through the autumn and early winter (sea ice and snow is a good insulator of the relatively warm oceans). The quick re-freezing and recovery (from summer minima) of the Arctic sea ice in recent years suggests that overall the sea ice has a net negative feedback role, not positive (from lower albedo) as climate scientists like to suggest.

Update - sorry, just seen your ;-)

Jan 10, 2014 at 10:09 AM | Registered Commenterlapogus

Normally the global warming alarmists grossly over-estimate changes. In this case John Turner has underestimated a change. I wonder what the reason for that could possibly be? No prizes for guessing the answer!

Jan 10, 2014 at 10:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

More from IPCC AR5, Chapter 4, verse

The regression trend in the monthly anomalies of Antarctic sea ice extent from November 1978 to December 2012 is slightly positive, at 1.5 ± 0.3% per decade (very likely) (see FAQ 4.2) as updated from Comiso and Nishio (2008). The seasonal trends in ice extent are 1.2 ± 0.5, 1.0 ± 0.5, 2.5 ± 2.0, and 3.0 ± 2.0% per decade (very likely) in winter, spring, summer and autumn, respectively, as updated from Comiso et al. (2011). The corresponding trends in ice area (also updated) are 1.9 ± 0.7, 1.6 ± 0.5, 3.0 ± 2.1, and 4.4 ± 2.3% per decade (very likely). The values are all positive with the largest trends occurring in the autumn. The trends are consistently higher for ice area than ice extent, indicating less open water (possibly due to less storms and divergence) within the pack in later years.

Jan 10, 2014 at 10:11 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

A suggestion - rather than go through the pointless BBC complaints procedure, would it not be more fruitful if a suitably qualified mathematician or statistician just emailed the presenter / producer directly and ask for an opportunity to put the record straight?

Jan 10, 2014 at 10:18 AM | Registered Commenterlapogus

What? The BBC getting its science wrong and then unwilling to fix it?

Surely not?

Jan 10, 2014 at 10:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

Almost from the start, the programme is wrong: Andrew Luck-Baker announces that the helicopter has landed on the heli-deck, then Adam Rutherford says: “Andrew, that's you being winched onto the deck…” Ooops. Landing is not the same as winching. (Landing would have been the preferred method, what with all the personnel involved, and the risks associated with winching.)

While John Turner managed to avoid the “D-word” (which the BBC man did not), he still managed to give us some dodgy stats, other than that already mentioned: “…in the Arctic, we've had a remarkable loss of sea ice, over the last 34 years or so.” Well, yes. But 34 years or so ago, we were assured that we were heading towards another ice age; just a shot in the dark, but could it be possible that the ice back then was abnormally extensive?

Not bad, for a 9-minute article to be so shot full of holes even I can spot them!

Jan 10, 2014 at 10:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent

I gave up trusting anything coming out of the BAS quite some time ago. It's just more of the same lies to keep the global warming trough filled to the brim.

Jan 10, 2014 at 10:22 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Maybe Tim Harford, who presents More or Less would be interested in having a look...

Jan 10, 2014 at 10:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

lapogus: The feedback to the programme that is presented the following week is always carefuly edited. I doubt if anyone will get a correction broadcast, but worth a try from lots of people.

Jan 10, 2014 at 10:25 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Alex: I've emailed More or Less to try to get Tim Harford to look at climate change statistics, but no success so far. Still, worth a try.

Jan 10, 2014 at 10:28 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Iapogus, I'm sure the variations in the melt cycles of sea ice is enormously complex. I have been wanting to write a post on this to pull together various threads of ideas but find so much contradiction in the literature, it is extremely thin ice to go skating upon. For example, I came across a paper that found less Arctic Sea ice during the LIA.

Jan 10, 2014 at 10:36 AM | Registered CommenterEuan Mearns

Take a look at Judith Curry's assessment of what the AR5 WG1 report actually says...
...and look at the part about 'Sea ice', especially the bit about attribution.

You'd assume and expert scientist like Prof. Turner would be aware of this?

Jan 10, 2014 at 10:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterDave Salt

Lapogus, the presenter writes for the Guardian and studied under Steve Jones. Bish has tweeted him but don't hold your breath.

Jan 10, 2014 at 10:38 AM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

I already complained last night on the basis that the term denier is offensive to a third of the BBC's listeners. I also mentioned that my wife's uncle was in Buchenwald, falsely suspected of being in the Belgian resistance. We should all complain.

Jan 10, 2014 at 10:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterSellers

I guess when talking about the amount ice has risen they use the total amount of ice on the Antarctic.

... or is this percentage a fraction of total water on the planet?

In which the total sea ice will be never more than 0.00...001%

Alternatively, ... since its hydrogen monoxide - they could just use the mole fraction of hydrogen in the solar system tied up as Antarctic ice.

... or they could be honest?

Jan 10, 2014 at 11:04 AM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

I already complained last night on the basis that the term denier is offensive ... we should all complain.

I will get onto this.

Jan 10, 2014 at 11:33 AM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

It's probably that 1% that the good ship 'Kevin Turvey' got stuck in. Par for the course, unfortunately. If BBC journalists had a better science & maths background then they would be able to quickly and confidently call BS in these situations.

Then, of course, the "bounds of natural variability" are something the catastrophists are so cock sure about, until they choose to decide otherwise. Hence the cause of the "pause" in their global warming.

Jan 10, 2014 at 11:40 AM | Unregistered Commentermichaelhart

I don't know exactly what Mr. Turney said, but from a quick glance at the chart, it seems that sea ice extent in the Antarctic is at present about 25% over mean from the base period. Someone should let BBC know. I am sure they will correct or at least follow up on such blatant misinformation - no?

Jan 10, 2014 at 11:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeorgeGr

Does anybody know what the Bootstrap version 2 passive microwave sea ice data have to say about Summer mean Southern Hemisphere sea ice extent?

Jan 10, 2014 at 11:54 AM | Registered Commenteromnologos

At my slimiest and most devious I can get the increase down to 3%. If one equates extent with distance from the centre of Antarctica the sea ice is a thin ring around the continent. based on assuming Antarctica is a circle with a ring of sea ice then with a little help from Wikipedia and Archimedes

Area of Antarctic is 14,000,000 Sq KM so if circular this would give a radius of 2,110.9 KM
Adding 9,000,000 Sq KM od sea ice gives a radius of 2,705.6 KM for average extent
Adding a further 1,395,000 Sq KM gives a radius of 2,786.4 KM and increase over normal of 80.8 KM
80.8/2705.6*100 = 2.98%

One could equate extent at a point where the increase is least which would bring down the increase extent % but that would be really extremely slimy.

Or one could be completely wrong and just spout any old crap (pardon my French)

Jan 10, 2014 at 12:03 PM | Unregistered Commenterson of mulder

I think we should congratulate Professor Turner for at least engaging and having at least some rationale for his claim. If he wasn't able to skew the figures at least a bit, the BBC would never have used him.

Lord Deben, chair of the .Climate Change Committee said recently that without challenge that 30% rising soon to 50%of Germany''s electricity was from renewables. In. fact last year it was 8% and last month less than 5%.

Jan 10, 2014 at 12:04 PM | Unregistered Commenterdave

Progress Report

Although I did not hear the program as a result of the comments above and as Chairman of the Scottish Climate & Energy Forum I have had a telephone call with a member of the program team who listened politely and intelligently and said they would pass on my details to the producer who I asked to call me back.

In the conversation I made it very clear that the use of the word "denier" did not in any way represent our views and as such it was a serious lie which was damaging people's reputations. As such I made them aware that if they continue using this lie, then it is likely to result in court action - if not by us - then by some other sceptic who has lost financially as result of this type of malicious comment.

However, the real culprit is Prof John Turner. I have phoned him but have not so far been able to talk to him.

The Sceptic View

Just to reiterate the point for anyone who is not already aware. When we formed the Scottish Climate & Energy Forum, we had a consultation on sceptic views. This is available on the web:

I am very confidence that we have the evidence that we are not "deniers" as nothing in this document supports the label "denier". We agree that global warming has occurred, that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, that climate changes. As such the use of the term "denier" is a malicious lie intended to damage our reputations.

People who continue with this malicious action calling us "denier" should be made aware that this is actionable in a court of law and believing it to be true is no defence when it is not.

Jan 10, 2014 at 12:10 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

I think he may be talking about the gradient, rather than the amount. If sea ice rises 12% over a period of 10 years, that's roughly 1.2% per year.

Jan 10, 2014 at 12:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterNullius in Verba

TRUST ? - can we trust the sc-activists (activist scientists) ?

COMPETENT ? - are people like Turner and Turney on top of the game ?
.. Well with Turney not understanding real life ice conditions and getting his ship stranded, and Turner not knowing the difference between "less than 1% (all ice)" and "1.2% per DECADE sea ice".. it doesn't look so, does it ?

- Buy a used car from them ?

Jan 10, 2014 at 12:34 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

No I am sorry the prog is criminally misleading
1. "sea ice" - no they said ICE
2. "1%" - no Turner said "less than 1%"
3. "1.2% per DECADE" - no they said 1%, not qualified by saying per decade

the figure 1% appears in the transcript 4 times
John Turner :sea ice around the Antarctic. ..late '70s. ..slight overall increase in ice - not a huge increase, less than 1%.
..Arctic, we've had a remarkable loss of sea ice, over the last 34 years or so. But in the Antarctic ..within the bounds of natural variability of the Earth system." - implying Artic ice loss is NOT within natural variation (wrongly I think)

Adam Rutherford: "A 1% increase in sea ice... You .."

John Turner: Yes, but a 1% increase in the extent of sea ice is really a very small amount. ..ozone hole, which we know has had a big impact on the Antarctic, or without increasing greenhouse gases.
People think that really the human impact of increasing greenhouse gases only started in the 19th century, ..
And a 1% increase, I believe, is within the bounds of natural variability. So we can't really infer global change from a measurement like that."

Jan 10, 2014 at 12:36 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Other quotes
AR : "it has been used by climate change deniers in the press, as a brickbat to beat scientists and the science" - using the denier word is DEFAMATION & a misframing psychological trick .. normal for AR though

JT : "What we've had here was a weather event (not climate)"

John Turner: "Well, no-one questions the data more than scientists. " (seems to me Sc-activists only question data if its against their dogma)

JT : "we're only too aware of the sparseness of the data that we have" - well why the certainty in your PR statements ?

AR : "special documentary here on Radio 4, on the 29th January
" .. a form of the special Luck Baker documentary was already broadcast on the World Service I listened to Discovery last night
AR : "Expedition Leader Chris Turney" - Luck Baker calls him one of 3 joint leaders (in that prog)

Jan 10, 2014 at 12:39 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

I checked Turner's calculation using the NOAA sea ice index product (for which I already have a collation script.) Turner said that he used G02202_v2. I'll try to look at that some time.

Note that Turner's results end in 2011, though data is available through 2013 and there has been an increase in 2012 and 2013.

Using the G02135 product to end 2013, the trend in SH extent anomaly is 170 × 10**3 km**2 per decade (rather than Turner's 147 × 10**3 km**2 per decade). The average SH sea ice extent in this period is 8.7 million sq km, which would appear to yield a percentage increase of more like 1.9% than under 1%.

Curiously, using AR1 significance tests, the t-value of the SH increase is greater than the t-value of the NH decrease, so it is not obvious that the NH decrease is "more significant" than the SH increase.

(1.2% per decade) over 1979-2011, which is significant at p<0.01.

Jan 10, 2014 at 1:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve McIntyre

Why don't you ask him for the data and a detailed description of what he has done. I am involved in much simulation including bootstrap methods, the detail is no way sufficient to understand what on earth he's done. If you can figure it then let me know where to get data and I'll have a go at recreating.

Jan 10, 2014 at 1:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Shaw

The phrase 'per decade' is not mentioned. The 'less than 1%' statement comes after a mention of the 1970s and before a reference to 34 years, so most listeners will have got the impression that this is the change over that time period.

Jan 10, 2014 at 2:06 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

[Snip - venting]

Jan 10, 2014 at 2:10 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Antarctic sea ice extent is ABOVE 2 (two) standard deviations of the 1981 - 2011 average.
How is that for natural variability?

Jan 10, 2014 at 2:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Silver

OK The Luck Baker Discovery documentary programme I listened to was not a complete whitewash disaster you expect from the BBC (mp3 download )
- Climate Science to me is 90% PR and 10% Science.. and in this prog the PR wasn't as slick as it normally seems
1. Chris Turney's incompetence does shine through : we can hear his making promises about rescue , which don't turn out etc.
2. In a lengthy speech Greg Mortimer one of the other 2 co-leaders * says he has been coming to Antarctic every summer for 20 years.
Yet he doesn´t come across as competent . He didn't help predict the ice and then we hear him say it is likely the ship will be stuck a long time.. yet we know the ship was released when the weather changed and the wind died down.
* ALB calls Greg Mortimer one of 3 joint expedition leaders in that prog
funny nothing comes up when I type into Google
Shokalskiy "joint leader" Antarctic

- They did imply a GOOD GET OUT ..but weren't as good as usual about being "on-message" : This was of the form of Greg Mortimer saying " ah you see there was a kind of ice earthquake caused by global warming, suddenly these chunks of old ice broke off and got blown into our area." paraphrased
- I could buy that, but hey didn't sell it very well (afraid of getting caught out ?)

- Mentions ship was holed above the ice line and they welded a plate over it . (how do you get a hole above the ice line ? surely it was made by the ice ?)
- There was an Australian female speaking much more like a dizzy giggling activist rather than a scientist (Tracy Rogers marine ecologist)
- My paraphrasing as I don't have an Alex Cull transcript yet
TR : "sea of multi-ice.. that's basically why we are here.. it's so iced-up" (em sounds like post hoc justification to me ..they never mentioned that before)
.. "layer upon layer ..been growing rather than receding's quite unusual.. probably changed the environment here"
- Luck Baker doesn't play the role of a journalist but rather that of a good cop on the subjects side, saying their words for them. An activist interviewing a fellow activist
ALB :"So this tells us ho East Antartica is changing .. I know you work a lot in the west where there has been been warming, I guess something else has been happening here ?"
TR : "Global warming ..really it's climate change ..some areas of warming ..and err (can't bring myself to say cooling) are experiencing different things ..sea ice in the west the trend is ALL receding..but here it's growing.."
ALB "I guess the message isn't that Antarctica is might melting on one side, but growing on the other..that's not necessarily a good sign a balance is it ?"
TR : "no, not at all ..system is changing ..not like this before .. some areas of the world we are seeing FLOODING, IN OTHERS CYCLONES, HERE IT'S....." (see sc-activist broadcasting UNVALIDATED opinions as if they were facts.. not professional at all for a scientist)
ALB "This is not newly formed ice, but ice that has been hanging around for years, Greg Mortimer says he has never seen anything like that before"
- next get Greg Mortimer's explanation
- We then move on to a 4 minute footage of the rescue, without a real full explanation of the many changes in Turney's promises and plans
Competent ? - FLAILING is the word to me
- failed predictions, post hoc excuses, relying on activist journalists to help them .. etc.

Jan 10, 2014 at 2:34 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Well, I'm coming late to this thread, and folks have already pointed out that "1%" is not the same as 1.5%/decade.
And Geckko has compared the observations to a prediction of the TAR. Adding onto that, AR4 WG1 shows model-mean prediction of Antarctic sea ice extent in the (austral) summer and winter in Figure 10.13, panels c and d respectively. Both show strong decreases over time. I'll make a stab that the rates are about -5%/decade and -2%/decade resp.

I was curious to compare the IPCC graph with actuals. I couldn't locate an Antarctic sea ice extent anomaly chart, although NSIDC hosts a graph of sea ice area anomaly. So, I downloaded the actual sea ice extent figures from NSIDC. The "historical" (pre-2000) portion of AR4 WG1's Figure 10.13 shows the beginning of a gradual decline (which is projected into the future). Interestingly, that decline isn't present in the observations. However, it was not thought important enough to point out that models could already be seen to be diverging from reality.

Jan 10, 2014 at 2:34 PM | Registered CommenterHaroldW

hey stop I just went back to the previous episode - scientist mentioned a nearby big block of ice being a problem and that it would surely not break up for next 4 years.
ep3 mp3 with Guardian "journalist" Ashok Jha presenting this interviewing the penguin woman about them abandoning their chicks too early, earlier than ever (obviously due to warming not cooling), but she says

Kerry-Jayne Wilson : "with the fast ice still so extensive this season, I guess we are going to see the same thing again..... This huge berg about the size of Luxembourg stranded itself about 50Km from where we are now and with that not moving, the ice forms between it and the land and it just DOESN'T breakup. It hasn't broken up for 4 years now. And until that huge iceberg starts breaking up, it's probably not going to break up for another 4 more years (Wow Mrs Predicter woman). So that is going to be really tough on the penguins"
Jha : "Does that mean it's the end of these colonies"
KJW : "No...these birds live 20-30 years. The ice will break up in that time.. population will recover.. but one of the things that does concern us is that as the climate warms the ice moves faster. It pushes more ice out into the sea , bergs break off more often ..expect to see these sort of conditions (with these penguins here) more often in the future

- So they did know there was a huge sea ice block in the area which are likely to send bergs off sometime it from this very same block that bergs broke off and that they got trapped in ?
.. the same ice she said will be firm for another 4 years ? or just a coincidence ?

Jan 10, 2014 at 2:41 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Turner: "Yes, but a 1% increase in the extent of sea ice is really a very small amount... ."

Yes, comparative to the area of the Antarctic it is small, but it is still a fair-old lump of ice. It's larger than the land area of Greece.

Jan 10, 2014 at 2:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterM. Stevens

2 tweets from BAS, in response to mine:

Paul Matthews ‏@etzpcm 2h
Prof John Turner of the British Antarctic Survey @BAS_News gives false information to @BBCRadio4 about sea ice.

BAS_News ‏@BAS_News 20m
@etzpcm From 1971-2011 it is 1.2 per cent increase per decade - based on the "Bootstrap version 2" passive microwave data. @bbcradio

BAS_News ‏@BAS_News 6m
@etzpcm Here is a paper you might find useful with 1% per decade fig: . Thanks to you and @aDissentient for contact.

and my reply

Paul Matthews ‏@etzpcm 24s
@BAS_News There was no mention of 'per decade'. False impression given was less than 1% since 1970s. @BBCRadio4

Jan 10, 2014 at 3:06 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

BTW Greg Mortimer is a Greenpeace guy in the 2009 ABC article it quotes indirectly "The whole idea of the exercise was to bring attention to the Greenpeace aims. "
and directly "Ah, yes. I think Greenpeace was aware of that potential more than we were. For Lincoln and Andy and I, I think it was more - it would be fun to climb Centrepoint, and that Greenpeace cause was a worthy one.
- hey, it's not the first time he's been ill prepared and got rescued 2010 he was rescued on a mountain in Greenland

and the he is used in a June 2013 History Channel TV prog to teach children about The failure of a modern expedition to re-enact Ernest Shackleton’s crossing of South Georgia Island in May 1916.
The children are asked "Note the credentials of expedition leader Greg Mortimer."

Jan 10, 2014 at 3:12 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

I think a half reasonable test for an activist/scientist would be whether they use the same definition when referring to both the Arctic and the Antarctic sea ice.

Jan 10, 2014 at 3:32 PM | Unregistered Commentermichaelhart

Funnily enough I did a post on this earlier this afternoon on WUWT.
The actual sea ice area as at yesterdays published figures were 5.525 million sq km against the 79-08 mean average for this time of year being 4.131 million sq km.
I calculated the anomally as plus of the above postings said 34% so appears I am on
the right track and Mr Turner has clearly "miscalculated".
I too emailed the BBC...well you have to...don't you?...even is it's just for a laugh!!

Jan 10, 2014 at 5:00 PM | Unregistered Commenterjames griffin

My impression from a number of interviews like this is that the "expert" knows he/she will not be challenged which makes it easy to play fast and loose with the facts. In addition they can usually rely on the partisan interviewer to summarise in a way which highlights the propaganda they are promoting.
If only Andrew Neil could spend more time on these issues....

Jan 10, 2014 at 5:43 PM | Registered Commentermikeh

Is it credible that this man:

cannot distinguish between rate of change of extent of Antarctic sea ice and extent of Antarctic sea ice?

Is it credible that he does not know accurate figures for the current extent of Antarctic sea ice?

Is it credible that he doesn't know that the Antarctic sea ice extent (>15% sea ice) has been greater than 2 SD's above the 1981 - 2010 average for some time (many months)?

I think he has chosen to be 'effective' in a Stephen Schneider way, cherry-picking an out-of-date figure with which to obfuscate on a national radio programme.

The BBC should be required to broadcast an on-air correction and a fulsome apology for misleading listeners at the start of the next Inside Science.

Jan 10, 2014 at 5:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterBilly Liar

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